Dear reader, it's late but my mind is having a hard time shutting down tonight. Earlier this evening I went for a run in the desert. It was lovely--one of those runs where the night air feels like a magical cape lifting all physical effort and leaving my mind to float along in a state of peaceful harmony.
There was a cairn that took my breath away.
Who made it? Who? Who stopped to create this tribute? Who could be capable of such deep and stirring expression?
I still believe in the ancient Norseman...
On the way home I was the first to arrive on the scene of a motorcycle accident (after the police officer who had been trying to pull the driver over). I parked my car on the shoulder of the road, left the hazard lights on, and asked if I could help.
The accident had only occurred seconds earlier so there was a certain amount of ascertaining and containment to be done and the officer asked me to train his flash light on the victim as well as to slow down oncoming traffic. I'm not sure if I was officially deputized or what, but as traffic was approaching and the scene was in total darkness except for my car and the officer's flashing lights, I grabbed my running lamp and flagged down a van.
The driver of the motorcyle was, by all appearances, incredibly fortunate to be alive. I held the flashlight and we talked to him, trying to keep him alert until more help could arrive. I noticed he was wearing a wedding ring. He blinked and lay motionless. He wanted us to disconnect his earphones because his music was too loud.
After what felt like an eternity a firetruck, ambulance, and other emergency vehicles arrived and a swarm of professionals began taking care of the situation.
Before I could leave, the original officer asked me to fill out a report. He gave me a pen and piece of paper and directed me to write what I witnessed in its entirety.
I'm sorry to admit this but a pen, a piece of paper, and a writing assignment??
What is wrong with me, but I wanted to get a gold star on that report. I truly had to repress the inclination to write out my thoughts in evocative language.
Instead, I kept the account so technical and terse it could have withstood the scrutiny of a court of law, although I couldn't resist adding how much I hoped the motorcyclist would be okay.
At any rate, I was there for quite awhile because as it happened another police officer wanted to interview me and couldn't do so until things were cleared up (I witnessed more than I'm sharing in this post). The EMT guys also wanted to ask me a few questions, though not many of those were on topic. I think mainly it was a lecture about running in the desert by myself.
When I arrived home, I was so happy to see the girls. It was late, but I took them out for a treat and then we snuggled on my bed way past our bedtime. We read stories, laughed about the silliest things, my mind split between enjoying their company and thinking how differently things might have gone this evening, how differently things went for the man on the motorcycle.
And I'm still thinking about him, how he's doing, about the call his family must have received by now, and the very sudden and terrifying effect such news would carry.
This is often why my mind can't shut down at night. I think about people I saw during the day, how very needy and desperate some are, how helpless, how their faces open to me as if I can see into their souls. I think about other things, too. It seems many thoughts rest on me and my mind takes forever to let go. I've been that way ever since I can remember.
I hope things will go well for that man. I hope for the very best.
What else is there to say? Just take it a little slower, I guess. Make this moment last a little longer. Reach out to the ones you love and if you can, reach out to someone else who needs help, too.
Sooner or later, everything's going to be okay. Not always, but ultimately.